Spa towns are located in many parts of the UK and have for many years been very popular places for visitors. The mineral spas have attracted people from afar due to their perceived healing qualities. These days the spa towns are also attractive to visitors due to their cultural heritage and wonderful history.
One of the best known spa towns in the UK is Bath, where there are historic Roman baths produced by underground springs. In the early part of the 19th century this was a particularly popular destination for the wealthy and as a result Bath is adorned with many noted examples of Georgian architecture. The baths though were built somewhere between the 1st and 4th centuries AD and utilise the hot springs rising from the ground at a constant temperature of 46.5 degrees Celsius.
Much of the Roman paving is still evident around the baths at Bath but most other spa towns earned their status more recently. Cheltenham is only a short distance from Bath and is the only regency spa town in Britain. King George III declared it a spa town in 1716 and the water can still be tasted today at the Town Hall and Pump Room.
Harrogate in Yorkshire features Turkish Baths dating back to 1897, which are still open to the public. These baths are architecturally fascinating as they have an Islamic influence with great arches and screens as well as walls with glazed brickwork. Its treatment centre closed in 1969 but visitors can still use the plunge pool, hot room chambers and relaxation room.
Malvern in Worcestershire has many wells and springs and became known for the healing qualities of the water. It is believed that famous figures such as Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale benefitted from the Malvern cold water cure. Many of the buildings of Malvern as well as the great railway station were built to meet the demands of the visitors flocking here in the 19th century, seeking cures from the water.
Nowadays spa treatments are big business again and the UK offers many other places with these services. However, a visit to a beautiful spa town cannot be replicated and the scenic beauty and wonderful history of these places is a relaxing experience in itself. Other great spa towns of the UK include Strathpeffer Spa in Scotland, Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Llandrindod Wells in mid Wales to name but a few.